Mental health apps: Proceed with caution - http://www.vancouversun.com/life/mental+health+apps+proceed+with+caution/11341650/story.html

by mikeelkeslassy on September 7, 2015 - 10:09pm

In the last few years, mental health has been issue that is becoming more and more as a forefront issue in today’s society. The Canadian Mental Health institution reported that 12 percent of Canadians suffer of mental health issues. They also reported that these health issues cost the economy over fifty billion dollars each year. App developers have now created an application that gives you tools and a plan in order to fight your mental health issue. In the article, it is said that this app is good for people who have a lack of access, affordability or any stigma, since it is private and it is very easy to do. Although according to many specialists it is said to “proceed with caution” because an application cannot do the work of a social worker. Although a study at the University of Zurich has stated that online psychotherapy is “on par” with the face to face interview. Many people have said that these apps have been used as ways of meditation in order to release stress and anxiety which is a major cause of mental health issues. 

In my opinion this is a form of task-shifting because it is taking a large issue such as mental health and making it accessible to everyone with a phone. This will push more people to be open about their issue and take away the stigma which scares people from going to receive help. Therefore this app is not something that will cure all mental health issues overnight, although it will raise a lot of awareness and push people in right direction to get proper treatment. As a result, this for me is a great idea which will keep pushing this issue in the right direction.

Comments

I have not yet heard of an app that can replace or act as a mental health professional until now. I agree that this will definitely raise awareness about mental health problems and how to deal with them. Although I do not believe it is "on par" with face to face professionals, since the app is public and getting more popular, it will definitely help increase early intervention for those those suffering from various psychological issues.

In our current society, I know that there is a large amount of accessibility to technology, but even after knowing that an app to "handle" mental health issues is the most unrealistic thing to do. Not only will it make peoples issues worse but it makes them even more addicted to cellphones which affects peoples state of mind. This will make them completely dependent on a cellular device.. what happens if that persons cellphone dies? They will have a huge breakdown being that dependent on an application that supposedly will help them.

In today's progressing society, we seem to try to use technology as an answer to everything. Technology cannot always replace human interaction, there are several things technology cannot do better than human beings. Although the concept of the app is good because it can raise awareness and help people feel comfortable enough with their mental disorder to go speak to a therapist, this app cannot be the sole treatment a person with illness receives. Mental health is something to be taken very seriously and is very complicated and different for every individual affected. People with mental disorders should not be relying on their cellphones for help. If anything it can just make them more isolated from the world around them, which is the last thing they need. People with mental health problems need to try to have normal social interactions and being on your cellphone constantly will not help with that. Mental health problems need to be properly addressed.